If you ask Samsung, they'll tell you that 60 percent of all TVs sold by Christmas will be 1080p. Given that plasma and LCD technologies continue to improve as prices continue to fall this could well be true. But, the question we need to ask is: will anyone get any benefit out of a 32-inch, 1080p television in your average living space? The LA32A650A1 is an interesting experiment, then.
*cue pompous fashion commentators voice* This season, red! is the new black.
LG has their Scarlet TV and Samsung has their Crystal Design. If you have a red feature wall then do the Koreans have the TVs for YOU! Samsung's flagship televisions sport the Crystal design which uses a finish invented by car manufacturers and is "inspired by the glass-blowers of Murano, Italy" apparently. What you get is a slight red accent which is a lot subtler in person than it appears in the product shots here. CNET Asia's Philip Wong may be gaga over it, but we'll just say that it looks "nice".
Design notwithstanding, the TV also packs a variety of features into the box. First is the 1920 by 1080 resolution, followed by a whopping four HDMI ports, and a "wheel" remote. Unfortunatley it misses out on 100Hz, but for gamers in particular this is a good thing &mdash less lag.
For us, 1080p is too large a resolution for such a small TV. There's no real way you'll be able to distinguish differences between it and 720p at your average one to two-metre distance. But on the flipside, it means that you will have access to more content via the HD FTA channels.
Unlike the other TVs in Samsung's new ranges, this TV has a comparatively low dynamic contrast of 15,000:1 (down from a million, but which might as well be a gazillion given the nature of dynamic ratings). This means you won't get the deep, rich blacks you'll see on other 6 series TVs.
The design looks great, the feature list is fairly pimped out, but this TV still makes us hesitate. We'd accept a 1080p compatible TV at this size — which means it would downscale to 720p or the equivalent — if it meant outlaying less cash. Will the public go for it? Time will only tell.